Hi there! My name is Jess and I’m the gal behind the blog As The Speerit Moves You. By occupation I am a Registered Nurse, but my all-time favorite job is being a mom to my eight-month-old son, Landon. I am a first time mom and I’m loving every moment spent with him! Today I have compiled a list for you with, what I find to be, some of the most helpful tips to keep in mind when bringing baby home from the hospital. Hope you enjoy!
Top 10 Tips For Bringing Baby Home, From An RN
1. GET ORGANIZED
I highly recommend getting a folder together to keep all important documents in one place. Sometimes the hospital allows you to fill out forms ahead of time, which they may want at the time you check in. By being organized from the start, you will have fast access to anything that you may need and a place to keep important information that the hospital may give you.
2. CHOOSE A PEDIATRICIAN ASAP
Do some research on pediatricians in your area before it’s ‘go time’. Nowadays it is even normal to interview your pediatrician. Take a tour of the office and see if you feel like it is a good fit for you- I know that I did! Ask whatever questions you may have. Find out if the pediatrician has access to the hospital you are delivering at. I found it so helpful that our pediatrician came to assess L in the hospital and he followed his care from there.
3. MEAL PREP
I’m serious guys, this was one of the most helpful pieces of advice that we had received before bringing L home. A few weeks before our due date, my husband set aside a day and just cooked. He put together large batches of freezable meals and had them all nicely labeled and organized in our freezer. Man was this the best thing we could do for ourselves. My husband and I were both so exhausted when we got home from the hospital, that cooking was the last thing on our minds. So, pull out your laptop and get some good searches in on Pinterest, looking for some yummy freezer meals!
4. GET TO KNOW YOUR CAR SEAT
I cannot stress this enough. My husband and I had set up the base in our car about a month before baby was born, but we never tested out his actual car seat. I guess we had so much on our minds that we didn’t think about it? It was kind of funny because when we were getting ready to go home, we literally could not figure out how the car seat worked. Embarrassingly, we had to call our nurse in to help us out! (insert monkey covering eyes emoji) Car seats can be confusing, so try to get comfortable with yours before discharge from the hospital.
5. PREPARE SIBLINGS/PETS FOR BABY’S ARRIVAL
Talk about the baby with your children before bringing baby home from the hospital. Share ultrasound pictures with your kids and let them know the baby’s name ahead of time. Ask them to help paint or decorate the babies’ room with you. It will give them some ownership and hopefully get them excited to meet their new brother or sister! As far as pets go- the best advice that I have heard so far is to bring home a blanket from the hospital that the baby was wearing and put it where your pet sleeps. This helps your pet to get used to baby’s scent. Once baby is home, put the blanket near them again- so that they can (hopefully) notice the connection and begin to feel comfortable.
6. “AT HOME” CARE
Maybe I am naive, but I had no idea how intense the healing process can be after birth (for different reasons; tearing, episiotomy, C-section healing, etc.) Use this time to bug your nurses (no really, they won’t mind) and ask them if they can ‘hook you up’ with some extra supplies. Try to get extra mesh panties, cool packs, pads, and Lanolin samples if you plan to breastfeed. Also, see if they can give you some extra Vaseline for baby, great for post-circumcision care. We still use the tube that we received from the hospital. Keep it mind that postpartum healing can take up to six weeks. Make sure that you have ibuprofen handy- you will need it.
7. FEEDING BABY
Whether you choose to give formula or breastfeed your baby, choose what is best for you and your family. If you choose to breastfeed, know that it isn’t always easy. Although breastfeeding is natural, it is something that takes time and practice for you and your baby. Although the first few weeks can be very hard-don’t give up! Feel free to read my previous post for some encouragement.
8. IT’S OKAY TO ‘NOT KNOW’ EVERYTHING
This may be your first baby or even your third. Remember that it is OKAY to not know everything. You will learn a lot as you go. Hopefully you have a good support system that will encourage you along the way. Do not compare yourself with the Joneses. Trust your natural mommy instincts and judgment and go with your gut if you think something may be wrong- chances are, you will be right!
9. LET APPS HELP YOU
One of my favorite ‘go to’ apps was one called, BabyNursing. I used it all the time. It was like a digital notebook for me. I kept track of all of babies feedings, diaper changes, his sleep cycle, etc. (oh, and its free!) It even lets you track the last side that you nursed on, so you won’t forget! The best part of the app is that you can export the recordings to an excel spreadsheet, which you can bring to your first pediatrician apt! Very helpful app, I must say.
10. INTRODUCING BABY TO OTHERS
Because baby’s immune system is still so immature, make sure that all people coming in close contact wash their hands before touching baby. You want to prevent the spread of germs as much as possible. Try to avoid large crowds of people for the first month or until your Pediatrician says that it is okay to get out. Insert Nurse advice: I would recommend that any close caregivers receive the Tdap vaccine, which will prevent baby from getting whooping cough. Another practical tip that I wish someone had told me, was to not be afraid to say no. If baby (or parents) need some rest- feel free to tell people “another time.” I honestly wish that I did this more in the beginning. I was so happy to have everyone come to meet the baby- but wasn’t getting much rest for myself. There is all the time in the world for visitors. Take this opportunity to get comfortable with parenting and spending this time bonding as a new family unit.
Have anything else to add? (Any L&D nurses out there?)
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Jess from As The Speerit Moves You